East Lansdowne’s Fourth of July parade turns 100 years-old this year and will be marked by Mummers, music, former mayors and some surprises.
Councilman Majovie (Joe) Bland said there will be eight parade marshals honored who are former school teachers from the borough and it will recognize the former Little Children’s Nursery School. The school has been closed, but the borough wants to commend it for its service to the community.
Mayor John Dukes, Jr. said the borough has all of the brochures from past parades. Each pamphlet reflected the social times and activities of that era.
For instance, brochures from 1915 to 1920 listed activities such as wheelbarrow and three-legged races. Also, opening ceremonies started at 4:30 a.m. with a cannon salute.
“If we did that today, people would shoot us,” Dukes jokingly said.
Why would people want to wake up that early for a parade? Dukes said that is just how things were back then.
Dukes has personally attended over 30 parades, and he was the American Legion commander in East Lansdowne and a police officer.
“One year we had a tank,” he said. “We have distinguished service men and women scheduled to speak (this year).”
On Saturday, the raising of the flag and singing of the national anthem will start at 11:30 a.m. outside the Community Center (Borough Hall) at Lexington & Emerson aves. followed by speeches and presentations including selections from the Voices of Praise Choir. The parade will kick off at 12:30 p.m., Dukes said.
“The community comes together every year for the parade,” Dukes said.
Various performers such as Archer-Epler Musketeers, Penn Wood High School Marching Band, Preservation Jazz Band, North Philadelphia Foot Stompers Drill Team and more. After the parade, residents are invited back to borough hall for food and to listen to a five-piece string band.
There is one missing pamphlet from the 1952 parade, the mayor said. It was never printed because of time constraints.